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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Right! Michigan's collected another dual-threat quarterback, this one from Texas. The first thing that leapt off the page at me when doing the standard googlestalking:

Hello! It's quite a shock to go "game recap, game recap, all-something team listing... ?... !!! Ewww. I wonder if I can get that quote."

The second thing that leaps off the page is a number: 62%, which is Beaver's completion percentage last year. From appearances, Beaver did not earn this completion percentage on bubble screens a la Pat White, averaging 9.6 yards per attempt. White was just under 8 last year and he completed 67%. In a number of games his yards per completion was sky-high -- 18 completions for 331 yards, 10 for 190, 12 for 246. The stats indicate a downfield passer. Running is a part of his game, too, as Beaver racked up 433 yards rushing. (Or 454 or 481, depending on who you believe. Something north of 400 and south of 500.)

ESPN's opinion of his performance at an Elite 11 event:

Initially Beaver looked unsure of himself and a bit shy as the Elite 11 kicked off, but as he moved into the second day and stayed for the NFTC event, Beaver began to just play and not think. His arm became more live, and you could see his confidence rise. He is still a project in the passing game, but he is one heck of an athlete and a dual-threat guy who will only improve as a passer.
By the time of his commitment, Beaver had offers from Texas Tech, Nebraska, Clemson, and TCU, which seems a little light for a four-star guy currently in the top 200. ("Numerous others" are mentioned but they're Arizona and the like.) He was leaning towards the Horned Frogs, who've picked up a commitment from one of his teammates, until Michigan hopped in with an offer about a month ago and changed things.

A local newspaper article contains a mind-bendingly ironic quote:
“The coaching staff at Michigan wasn’t pressuring me. Ever since they offered, I was thinking someone had to beat out Michigan. And no one did. All the others treated me like I was Tom Brady. Michigan was letting me scout them and I feel comfortable about it. My mom was real happy.”
The low pressure approach makes sense since Michigan had several irons in the fire at quarterback, a few of which they may have slightly preferred. Coach quote from the same article:
“He continues to get better and mature and I expect huge things out of him this season,” Ponder said. “I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t have a huge season.”
There's ten minutes of Kevin Newsome running around but the only free video on the internet of Beaver is this failed two-point conversion:

Since that game is taking place at the Cowboys' stadium, I assume it is Rider's "heartbreaking" 21-19 loss to Everman in the Region I championship game.

Sadly, Beaver's commitment to Michigan breaks up LSU's shot at a recruiting name dream team; if they want to swap Russell Shepard for him I'm sure we're listening.

Other miscellania: a photo gallery; commit article from; articles on Rider's season collected.

Editorial Opinion: Beaver's on the thin side and still developing as a passer, from the looks of it. He didn't have the flashy offers Kevin Newsome does or the universal top-100 ranking. But he seems like a good developmental prospect and someone who will challenge for the starting quarterback job. With Michigan's numbers at QB they really needed two guys with a chance at succeeding. Check and check.

One item worth noting: both Newsome and Beaver are regarded as mobile pass-first sorts, more Donovan McNabb (to take one wildly optimistic comparison point) than Pat White. Hopefully this reassures anyone out there envisioning a system as run-heavy as West Virginia's; Rodriguez appears set on guys who have a chance to run or throw.

Beaver's commitment likely closes the door on Jason Forcier, Eugene Smith, and anyone else Michigan was pursuing as a quarterback only. Several targets are being recruited by other schools as defensive backs or wide receivers and Michigan will probably continue recruiting those players, perhaps with the promise of a shot at quarterback and a move if things don't work out.